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Mapping Out the Homeschool High School Plan

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Homeschool High School Class Planning

The last few weeks (oh who am I kidding? MONTHS!!) have been filled with perusing curriculum, thinking about high school credits, electives, checking state requirements, and all the fun that goes along with planning for homeschool high school.

It may be a wee bit overwhelming at times.

Part of me is trying to balance the fact that GOOD GRIEF, MY BABY IS OLD ENOUGH FOR HIGH SCHOOL and the responsibility of providing a solid education. All that ‘pressure’ that I originally felt when we started to homeschool oh-so-many-years ago has been multiplied exponentially.

Keeping it real here.

Or maybe this is just me – I realize that is entirely possible. That said, a few deep breaths, a few friends that are walking the same road with me, and lots of prayer – and slowly a plan is beginning to emerge and take shape.

Laying out the Framework

Homeschooling in High School

If you haven’t already read it, the post Homeschooling in High School by Kris from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers will be a huge help to you. Over the last bit, I’ve been reviewing several of the key suggestions she made, including;

  • use the 8th grade as a trial run
  • start keeping transcripts now
  • look at college admissions to guide your coursework (our oldest already has a college in mind)
  • remember his/her interests
  • consider a co-op

Using all of the above, another mom and I had a mini pow-wow of sorts where we bounced ideas off each other and came up with a basic framework for the next five years. We looked at the requirements that our state has for a basic and advanced diploma, took notes, and then began mapping out the courses.

Don’t Forget Local and State Requirements

In our state, students can begin earning high school credits in grade 8, so the four year plan became a 5 year plan. Truthfully, this works out great, because it gives us a little bit of a buffer and also the option for some dual credit earning (the ability to take college classes and earn both high school credit and college credits when eligible).

Your state also may have limits on how many credits can be earned prior to the 9th grade year, so be sure to check on that before planning too much the 8th grade year. A great starting point is visiting HSLDA.org.

The Tentative Plan (for now…)

Based on our local county guidelines, we’re shooting for an advanced diploma. For us, this means fewer ‘electives’ and more of a focus on science (4 years), language/lit (4 years), math (4 years), history (4 years), foreign languages (3 years) and other key subjects too.

We’re starting early (8th grade). Next year will officially be her 8th grade year, but our oldest will be working on credits toward high school including math, language, foreign language, world geography, and science. An elective or two may be thrown in there as well, but it will depend on her course load and double checking on what the state allows.

Several of our classes will be done together with some other families in a small co-op setting. Right now we’re planning on our literature class and possibly science or some fun electives together.

After talking with our oldest, we’re put together a few ideas for electives and classes that are tailored to her interests: art (drawing or pottery), a Greek mythology course (for 1/2 credit), and a few other ideas are spinning. We don’t want to forget the fun things! Need help determining credits? Check out this article from HSLDA.

Transcripts are being formatted now. Rather than waiting, I’m trying to come up with something that makes sense for my brain now. Based on the grading system for the school and such, I’m keeping track of the credits that are being earned and staying on top of it all as we go along.

We’re keeping the end in sight. Laurianna already has a college in mind (she may be a wee bit of a planner…). We’ve picked up some brochures and started looking at dual enrollment classes for her junior and senior year and what classes will (or won’t) transfer in so we have a good idea on what to expect as she progresses each year. It may seem a bit early, but having an idea has been really helpful.

A Peek at Our Plans

All that said, do you want a peek at our tentative plans? Keep in mind this is NOT set in cement – it’s just to give us an overview and something to base things on. There is plenty of wiggle room allowed – we may move a few of the classes around in the upcoming months.

High School Class Planning

click on the image to view a larger copy

If you’d like, you can download a blank copy of the High School Planning form to work on your own high school planning. It’s nothing fancy – but hopefully will help you out!

I’m curious – what electives and FUN things are you hoping to build into your child’s high school years? And how much do your state/local guidelines play into your plans? (Ideas are always welcome!)

Middle and High School Planning Pages

Middle and high school planning printables

If you’d like to get a little more detailed, be sure to check out the middle and high school planning pages as well. This set includes credit and class tracking pages, as well as high school requirements for graduation – and more.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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  1. My oldest starts high school in the fall. i was in a tizzy until I went to a series of workshops given by one of the high school consultants from HSLDA at our state convention. HSLDA has some fantastic info on their site relating to high school. And if you are a member, you can call the consultants any time and ask them all the questions you want. She said to use her like your own personal guidance councilor. I highly recommend checking it out.

    • That has been one site that I’ve definitely been visiting. Becoming a member of HSLDA was one of the BEST decisions we’ve made! :)

  2. Allison Fambro says

    how do you determine credits and half credits?

  3. Great post! You might want to check out My Homeschool Grades, it’s an online record keeping/transcript building program that I LOVE! Here’s a link to my review (and yes I am an affiliate, but there are no affiliate links in the review post I’m sharing). http://learningcurvey.blogspot.com/2013/05/my-homeschool-grades-review.html

    • Pretty sure that this is the same company that Teach Them Diligently is workin with as an online planner – and you get 3 months free when you register for TTD. Thanks for sharing!!

    • AdventuresinHomeEducating says

      I was also going to recommend My Homeschool Grades for transcripts and planning! It is awesome!

  4. Kris @ WUHS says

    Great minds think alike! I’ve just been doing the same thing this week and today at lunch I wrote out our spread sheet of courses. :)

    • I so appreciate all the hand-holding that you’ve done for me over the last bit! :) It’s so much easier when you have friends you can talk it over with and make it seem less scary!

    • So, are both you and Kris using My Homeschool Grades and liking it for transcript and grade documentation?

    • I haven’t even had a chance to register it yet and try it out. Check with Kris too!

    • I am sold on My Homeschool Grades! Let me know if you end up using it. I’ve entered all of the info for Hanna. I probably won’t use it for the boys–I’m still a “paper and pencil” kind of gal as long as it serves my needs :), but for high school I think this will be wonderful!

  5. bethbomar says

    I took college classes at our local community college my senior year of high school. It worked out great! I took Spanish, writing, speech, psychology, and american government. They transferred great to my 4 year college.

  6. great post. thanks! and i’ve been reading kris for years, too. agree that she has also been very good at sharing her learning experiences. :) btw, link above where it says to click on image to see larger….doesn’t work. :( keeps saying page not found.
    thanks again for all the handouts–in this post and over the years.

  7. I am right there with you! All I’ve been thinking about, and talking with my kids about, for the past couple of week has been high school prep. My oldest starts 9th grade in the fall. My head has been spinning, but it’s been very helpful to get a plan on paper as a starting point.

    • There is something infinintely calming when a rough plan is in place. Some little glands inside me just said ‘ahhhhh’ and relaxed a bit. :) It’s been so much fun to talk about with our daughter too – and dreaming of her future together and how SHE envisions it.

    • Very calming and reassuring! Once Hanna and I finished hers a couple weeks ago I felt so much better. Thank you for your online planning sheet! Are you going to make the Greek Mythology course yourself? Hanna has been obsessed with this topic for several years and would love an elective on it. I have looked online and don’t see any offerings for one so I’m beginning to think I might have to make one myself for her.

    • I was thinking of putting something together using the d’Aulaire mythology book and the teacher’s guide that I have from Memoria Press (at least I think that’s who it’s from!!). I figured we could easily come up with 1/2 a credit between reading and writing papers!

    • That’s a good idea. I have that book. I’ll look for the guide from Memoria Press. Thank you!!!!

  8. Thank you for this post! My daughter is in 7th grade & I have been stressing about high school! :)

  9. Can I ask what you are using for Intro to Speciology and Paleontology? I have a child who wants to be a paleontologist.

  10. I could really use some help if you could please let me email you or talk a hit. Thanks i have two high schoolers, 4th grade and kinder this year, so Im feling frazzled. And didnt do thatbgreat of a jov keeping grades for my 9th grade this year

  11. This is so very helpful! Thank you!!

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